Wheel alignment

Friday 17 February 2017

Moto-blogger meet-up

It's always a fantastic occasion to get together with other moto bloggers and this time it was with well-known Aussie blogger Steve Hoswell (Chillertek of Road to Nowhere fame).  Steve flew into NZ last night with his mates Stuart, Geoff and Rick to start a tour of NZ's North Island.

Mind you, it didn't get off to a good start with them landing in torrential rain which continued through to this morning. The irony is that we haven't had any appreciable rain since Christmas and were verging on a serious drought - thought that we must have displeased the motorcycling gods in some way!  A scan of road conditions in the province showed local surface flooding but looking at rain radar on the Metservice website showed a clearance from the north so it was all on!

Steve and co were keen to ride the famous Coromandel Loop en route to their overnight stop in Rotorua and it would have been rude not to escort them up the west coast section of the Loop and give them lunch, wouldn't it? So, in drying conditions and  temperatures in the mid 20's C, it was off to Thames to meet the guys, all arriving within minutes of each other.

Steve, leading the lads to the meeting spot

Meeting at Thames Yacht Club

Two Yamaha Tracers, a Tiger 800 and a Street Triple, all decked out with touring luggage pulled in and it was a case of instantly getting on with each other.  Quick introductions, a bit of banter and then it was an absolute privilege to show them the 55 km of highly technical twisties up to Coromandel village (population 1600 on a good day!)

Manaia Hill lookout, about 15 km south of Coromandel

Arty-farty shot at the Manaia Hill lookout

After a nice brisk ride through the hills, it was round to the Coromandel wharf for an obligatory photo op.

Coromandel wharf with the Coromandel mountain range in the background

Coromandel wharf looking up the harbour

It's only about 800 metres to our house from the wharf and it was round home for a bit of rehydration and to blunt an appetite honed by a morning's riding.

Filling up for the afternoon sprint to Rotorua

Geoff, Stuart, Rick and Steve getting ready to depart

What a great privilege it was to meet and ride with Steve, Geoff, Rick and Stuart, whose past adventures I've enjoyed following for some years on Steve's blog - makes all the difference in the world to have actually met them now.  It's sad however that we were only able to spend a couple of hours or so in each other's company.  Might have to remedy that at a later date! Travel safely guys, watch those hangovers, have a fantastic tour and look forward to seeing a full account of your tour when you get back to Australia!

Cheers guys and safe travels!


  1. So it's not just a bad dream...they are here...

    Be good to see them when they get here. Shame I'll be working and can't get out to show them around properly.

  2. Yes indeed, our emails to immigration control were clearly ignored!

    Awww..... c'mon, throw a sickie for a day or get your boss to put it down to building international relations on your expense account :-)

  3. Ah, the famous Coromandel loop and bonus: lunch at the James', what a treat. I am sure it has been thoroughly enjoyed by all.

    1. It certainly was an enjoyable event Sonja, once the weather gods had smiled on us - a close run thing!

  4. Awesome to see the bloggers meeting up. So jealous!!

    1. A really enjoyable occasion Brandy, and over too soon. Great guys, all of them and it felt like we'd been friends for years; which in a way, I suppose we have!

  5. "55 km of highly technical twisties" ...bereft of 4wds with boats on the wrong side of the road, SUVs all over the road and Volvos?

    1. Hi Jon!
      Hahaha - I did warn them before we started the brisk journey northwards! However, it was too early on a Friday for the muppets from the Waikato and Auckland to be towing their boats but I think that the bad weather of the previous 24 hours put a lot of people off travelling and we were hardly impeded! The guys really enjoyed it.

      Incidentally, you may laugh but most of the 4x4 drivers towing boats who can't drive for crap all seem to fall into one basic category - fat, moustache, baseball cap and singlet. Wonder why that is???

      P.S Don't see many Volvos on that road - the real tossers drive Audis!

    2. Yeah, heard all about your riding...

    3. I'll have you know that I was more or less legal, just tried to keep up a smooth pace. Whatever Steve and the lads have said, it's all lies :-). All they said to my face was that the bike handled ok :-)

  6. Thanks mate was great to finaly meet you and very gracious of you to shout us lunch. Internet has been patchy. Just meet Andrew and he was a fantastic guy. You guys have been great. If your ever in Sydney look me up.

  7. Steve,
    It was likewise fantastic to finally catch up with you all after reading about your exploits for so long. Great to be able to show you part of our patch! Excellent that you could catch up with Andrew too. Enjoy the rest of your trip. - forecast is great. Hope we can meet up for a longer time sometime in the future!. Safe riding mate.

  8. I've met Steve on two occasions and shared blogging comments and the occasional email and we certainly debunked my son's theory that "online / blogging friends are not really friends at all". Like you, we felt like we knew each other pretty well and were in the company of old friends.

    1. Hi Jules,
      Like any other section of humanity, not all riders necessarily get on or see eye to eye. However, you get a pretty good idea of what people are like through their blogs and I've really liked all the bloggers I've met in person. Hopefully, we'll be able to meet up at some stage too!

  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Warren! Should have been longer but it was still great to meet in person.

  10. "P.S Don't see many Volvos on that road - the real tossers drive Audis!"
    They must have changed then. The last Volvo I encountered, totally on the wrong side of the road, gave me a look as though it was all my fault and how dare I be there and make them get back on their own side.....!

    "fat, moustache, baseball cap and singlet"......funny that. Not so many of them over here - more "young, arrogant, tats and get out of my way"

  11. Hi Jon,
    You still get the off Volvo but there's a procession of Audis to the weekenders in Matarangi on a Friday night!

    The young fellas you describe drive lowered Jap cars with massive boom boxes round this way. They're not a problem though as they're townies and the open road is scary for them!


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